June 18, 2009

FOOMA Exhibits Kitchen Bots

At the recent FOOMA (International Food Machinery and Technology Exhibition) in Tokyo, robots displayed their talent in preparing and serving food. Attendees included a sushi-picking bot, one that can slice veggies, a pancake maker and a serving bot.

Via Reuters

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Ninomiya-kun Book Reader


Waseda University has produced Ninomiya-kun, a small bot capable of reading paper printed books. Named after Kinjiro Ninomiya, a 19th century agricultural leader and philosopher, he stands 1m tall and weighs 25kg. The bot reads by camera, has character recognition software stored on a computer on his back, then translates into spoken words. Because the voice comes from a synthesizer, it will be a while before Ninomiya-kun is available to read to kids, seniors, or those who need someone to help them with a difficult cookbook recipe.

Via Pink Tentacle

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June 11, 2009

Snail Window Cleaning Bot


This bot does windows and walls, and any other flat surface a human cannot reach easily. The Snail by Yasunori Goto, Ibe Tommokichi and Hirata Ichiro, climbs and sticks to surfaces with the help of air compression suction. It connects with a safety cable that houses a power cord and communication cable. Attachments are added to clean, paint, carry tools and take pictures, thereby making it rat on itself should it do a lousy job.


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Let Bomo Mind the Baby


New moms and dads, rejoice. There is a new baby carriage in town. Bomo acts as an adjustable swing (moving horizontally,) a comfortable chair and best of all will maneuver through a room while dodging obstacles. The Korean carriage from BMGK Co., Ltd. can be controlled either manually or automatically and has a battery life of 6 hours with a 3 hour charge. Recommended for indoors only, the device has an anti-biotic, anti-odor cover that can be removed for cleaning. Bomo can be yours for $780.00, a bit pricey, but well worth it for any frustrated parent.


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June 9, 2009

ROBOTOPS Construction Crane


ROBOTOPS, built by the Japanese company Tadano Ltd., has been designed to work in construction sites or disaster areas. The bot is an automated crane that has a 3-chip CCD camera, remote control and 29 functional joints for picking up rocks, wood or other additional material, not to mention any wayward humans. Not out in public yet, the company plans to sell them ASAP. If you see one, run the other way.

Via Dvice

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June 8, 2009

DustBot Takes Out the Trash

Shades of Wall-E! A group of European scientists got together to design and develop the DustBot over the past 3 years to help clean up narrow streets. Have a bag of trash? Summon one and he will come to take your refuse away, hopefully to a place that will either recycle or turn it back into the earth. They also monitor pollutant levels with onboard sensors. It pretty much resembles a glorified Segway but hey, anything that cleans up is okay in our book. Turn a few loose on the streets of NY and the residents will probably yell, Huzzah!"

Via Dustbot

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June 2, 2009

Shigeo Hirose's Robot Recues Earthquake Victims

Professor Shigeo Hirose, who won the prestigious Engelberger Robotics Award, is working on a robot at the Tokyo Institute of Technology that can help rescue earthquake survivors. The BBC recently checked that out as well as some of Hirose's other slinking, walking and crawling creations.


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May 18, 2009

Self-Taught Robotic Helicopter

Stanford has been working on a helicopter that can actually learn to fly by "watching" other ones. Andrew Ng and his team of graduate students equipped an off-the-shelf RC copter with accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers, with tracking that can be accomplished either on the ground or by GPS. During a demonstration the AI flier performed various maneuvers including rolls, loops, flips and more. Possible future applications might include fire and war area searches, but at this point we are still in awe that it teaches itself.

Via Stanford

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May 14, 2009

Reactorsaurus to Clean Up Dounreay PFR


Have a nuclear power station problem? Call for Reactorsaurus, an oversized 75 ton waldo that is going to strip the 1950s built Dounreay defunct reactor by remote control. It has two robotic arms with pincers and "roving photographic eyes." The seabed near the PFR (Prototype Fast Reactor) will also be cleaned up as radioactive particles were found in it. At a cost of 2.5 billion pounds, they are hoping to complete the project by 2025. In the meantime, we have visions of Simpsonesque creatures popping out of the water.

Via Dounreay

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May 12, 2009

Croww 540 ATV- Heavy Lifting


We can't wait to see this one on the road. The Croww 540 can cross sand or ice while carrying heavy loads, equipment, or people while also providing shelter and protection. The prototype has a baseplate, 6 legs, cameras, sensors and a detachable cylindrical battery. It transforms with air tubes in its legs that automatically inflate it into a tent. We bet the military will grab this one, but we think this would make a great camping vehicle.


Via Gizmo Watch

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